Tom Brady is learning very quickly that you can't win 'em all, and we're only sort of talking about his currently-losing record on the 2022-23 NFL season.
The formerly former quarterback was an equity investor in — and public ambassador of — the now spectacularly imploded crypto exchange FTX, which shocked the world this week with its tumultuous fall from web3 grace. Given that FTX is currently hurtling towards bankruptcy with an $8 billion bleed, we can't imagine how much money Brady actually lost.
Brady and soon-to-be-ex wife Gisele Bündchen announced their joint partnership with the fallen crypto giant back in June 2021, picking up where Larry David's "invest in stuff you don't understand at all ha ha relatable" Super Bowl ad left off with their own cursed commercial. The terms of the divorcing couple's agreement with FTX was never disclosed, but the now-defunct exchange would have been valued at $18 billion just a few weeks after their partnership was announced, following a $900 million funding round, so some serious money was in play.
"It's an incredibly exciting time in the crypto-world, and Sam and the revolutionary FTX team continue to open my eyes to the endless possibilities," Brady said in a press release at the time. "This particular opportunity showed us the importance of educating people about the power of crypto while simultaneously giving back to our communities and planet."
If Brady and Bündchen were to pick any crypto exchange to dig their nightshade-free claws into, FTX certainly made sense. FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried — who just set the record for the most wealth lost in a single day — strategically positioned himself as not just any ol' crypto bro, but Mr. Crypto Adult, pushing for regulation and realism in a chaotic, hype-driven industry.
His vision for crypto, per FTX advertisements, was not just a force for trolling and getting rich quick, but a force for good. Similarly, the former Brady Bunch have long positioned themselves as philanthropists; in that same press release, Bündchen noted that "Sam and I are both enthusiasts who share a belief that we are on this earth for a greater reason," that reason, apparently, being to save the world, one digital asset at a time. Aw.
Bündchen even starred in a series of print ads in the New Yorker alongside the now-disgraced CEO. They ran in June of this year, just as the crypto crash was starting to take hold. But if they seemed in poor taste then, they're even more cringe-inducing now.
"I'm in on FTX," read the ad, "because we share a passion for creating positive change."
Four-page spread in The New Yorker, June 13, 2022. pic.twitter.com/l0yH5yzlgm
— Jason Zweig (@jasonzweigwsj) June 13, 2022
Brady and Bündchen are far from the only stars with expensive ties to the imploded exchange. The Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry apparently got some crypto advice from Tommy boy, gaining an equity stake last September; MLB wunderkind Shohei Ohtani became an equity investor and ambassador that November; tennis star Naomi Osaka achieved the same status just this past March. Indeed, FTX even took the whole "we definitely love sports" thing one step further by inking a long-term deal with the Miami Heat to rename their entire arena.
It's worth noting that while losing a ton of money generally sucks for anyone, all of these figures, Brady and Bündchen especially, will likely come out just fine. Will the divorcing power couple have to sell their island or something? Maybe. But the former's current one-year NFL contract is worth $15 million, while the latter was the world's highest-paid model for 14 years in a row. Prior to the FTX news, they held a combined net worth of roughly $650 million.
And on that note, celebs don't become ambassadors so that the companies they represent get their money; they become ambassadors so that companies can make money off of their ambassadors' adoring fans. And to that end, it's one thing to hawk Subway (which we totally, for sure, one hundred percent believe that Brady actually eats when he's not held hostage for promos).
But crypto is an asset, and celebrities, for whatever reason, thought it was totally cool and fine to sell unstable investments to consumers like shoes or makeup or sandwiches they don't eat. And any real people who bought in will, as always, be the ones who hurt the most.
More on crypto celebs: Crypto Exchanges Lay Off Thousands, Months After Uber-Expensive Super Bowl Ads